Thursday, July 03, 2014

About that weather forecast

Sunday was one of those days—the weather forecast said it would be sunny most of the day. Well, I guess it was—somewhere! Living right next to a huge body of water where the temperature of the water is about 39°F can have a huge effect on the weather. Sunday was one of those days.

The fog rolled in and out all morning. One minute the sun would be shining and it would be short-sleeve weather. The next minute, the fog would roll in, obscuring the sun and dropping the temperature about 15°. In and out, in and out all morning and early afternoon.

I had decided to take a bike ride after cleaning the cabins (only 4 needed cleaning). But, given the fog, I decided to ride up the Gunflint and over the ridge. That way I would be away from the fog and bad visibility. I hadn't ridden up the Trail yet this year; it's about a 1000 feet climb in around 2 miles. Quite the climb, with one section being especially steep.

After getting over the ridge, I usually ride along Devil Track Lake; it's a long lake with a north shore and south shore option. I chose the north shore, giving me a 25 mile ride. The weather was lovely, but with a bank of clouds to the west. I figured I would easily be home before any storm might hit. Wrong! about 10 miles into the ride, it started to sprinkle. That's fairly common around here, though, so I just kept going. After all, I only had another 3 miles to the half-way point. At the half-way point I would turn around and ride away from the rain. Not a problem, I do it all the time.

It started raining a bit harder just before the half-way point, but I still figured I could outrun it on the way home. Wrong again! It started raining harder and the wind picked up. I put on my windbreaker that is only water resistant, not waterproof. Inside of 2 miles, I was drenched. I picked up the pace a bit, hoping to outrun it.

It appeared to be working; the rain was subsiding. But then, it started hailing. That's right, the rain subsided—by turning into hail! Not tiny hail, either. Marble-sized hail. And it was getting harder.

Let me assure you that marble-sized hail hurts when it hits unprotected flesh. And it hurts even worse when you are going 30 MPH. In my attempt to outrun the storm, I was cranking as hard and as fast as I could. I don't normally go much over 20 MPH, but I was moving at around 28-30 MPH and it was taking all I had.

I finally outran the storm just before I got to the top of the ridge. It was all downhill from there. But it was heading back to the west again—right into the storm!

So, here I am, drenched, exhausted, and I'm going 35 MPH downhill directly into the rain and wind. At least it wasn't hailing anymore!

I got home just before the worst of the storm hit. But I felt great! Crazy, isn't it?!

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